For those who aren’t familiar with the various units and numbers related to radioactivity, 28,000 bq/kg is a stunning measure of radioactivity. This highly concentrated radioactive waste! You wouldn’t want to stand near it for long, never mind eating it!
Mushrooms are known to concentrate radionuclides at up to 10,000 times the levels in the background environment. One must be very careful about the origin of mushrooms before eating them.
While this is disturbing news, this also reaffirms the exciting potential for mycoremediation as described in Paul Stamets’ proposal for a Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone.
It also reaffirms the importance of pectin as the most effective chelator for radioactive cesium.
Here’s the news from the ex-skf blog:
“It’s not food any more, it’s simply radioactive materials”, as the young man at theCitizen’s Radioactivity Measuring Station in Fukushima City said of the radioactive mushroom in Germany’s ZDF program aired on August 9.
Wild mushroom harvested in a town in Fukushima tested highest ever radioactive cesium so far in food after the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident that I’m aware of:28,000 becquerels per kilogram.
According to the data from Fukushima Prefecture, 13,000 becquerels/kg of cesium-134, and 15,000 becquerels/kg of cesium-137 were detected from the mushroom.
The town, Tanakura-machi, is located at about 73 kilometers southwest of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.
From Yomiuri Shinbun (9/3/2011):
Fukushima Prefecture announced on September 3 that 28,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was detected from wild mushroom, Lactarius volemus, harvested in the mountains in Tanakura-machi. The level of radioactive cesium vastly exceeds the national provisional safety limit of 500 becquerels/kg.
It is still early in the season for this particular mushroom and it is not sold in the market. The prefectural government notified the town and the distributors to voluntarily halt harvesting and shipping of wild mushrooms includingLactarius volemus.
According to the prefectural government, the mushroom was harvested on September 1. The government is going to test the mushrooms nearby for radioactive materials, and put up signs calling for voluntary halt on harvesting.
In Fukushima Prefecture, 3,200 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium has been detected from Lactarius volemus harvested in Furudono-machi. The prefectural government says, “We are surprised at the extremely high number. We will continue to investigate and identify the cause”.